Realised something on the ride this morning that might help a few people here. As you may know- Well I mention it in virtually every posting- I have got a new bike. The OLD bike had a triple crankset on it and with the hills in my area- It has been a godsend. The new bike has a Compact double and I am only doing rides that will enable me to get to know the bike and does not involve anything resembling a hill. That higher gearing means that I have to use my body to get up the hills and not the gearing.

Back to this morning. Although I deceided not to take any hills- I took a route that involved a few slopes. I call a slope anything up to 5% that lasts for longer than 1/4 of a mile. Decided that I would use the Big ring and do it without crosschaining and the first 5 miles invoved 5 or 6 x 5% slopes and I managed them. I did use the I Pod and the cadence for this bit was around 85 to 90. Kept the cadence correct and just changed gears or did put in extra pressure on the stiff bits. On the flat- I kept to the cadence but kept pressure on the legs so that they were just about straining. No slacking with an easy ride. Next 5 miles were flat or downslope so kept the pressure up. Down for the coffee and had a shock when I saw that I only had an average of 15.5mph. Then realised that I had gone to the Festival on the front with 2 miles at walking pace and the computer had kept running.

Route back and out to the marshes. Flatlands mainly but with the slopes in it again. Had 3 roadies pass me and why is it that they all have top rate bikes- are 6' tall and made of bone and sinew with no fat on them. As they passed me- I tagged on the back and after about a mile there was a T Junction. Glad to see that they were breathing as hard as I was. They went right and I went left. Thank goodness.I could not have stayed with them much longer. Felt good on the bike but Decided to try a couple of Bigger Slopes. Just by changing the route I found 2 x 1/2 mile lumps at around 8 to 10%. I Pod still running so kept the cadence right at around 90 and used the Small ring this time. Second hill and I still felt good except the music changed to a faster bit so pulled the ear plugs out. Then up the top and how about some more hills. Didn't fancy a real hill but there is an area of about 5 miles of country lanes where in short sharp rises- you climb about 500 ft. Nothing long in other words.

Well I did it and enjoyed the 2 mile trip down hill back home.

I was worried about doing hills on this new bike- So instead of doing hills- I worked up the slopes. Nothing too steep till the last bit but even here there was nothing more than a 12% for 1/4 mile. I may not have proved anything but it has given me confidence to tackle a few 10%ers next week. By using the I Pod to pace me- I know what I can do- so Hills here I come. Or is it s*d that wheres the easy route again.